While Walmart India went on an expansion spree, its losses doubled in the financial year 2018-19. Numbers sourced from data research platform Tofler shows that the Indian unit of the US-based brick-and-mortar retail major registered a net loss of Rs 172 crore year-on-year (YoY) for FY19, which has almost doubled since last year.
Walmart India, which runs over two dozen B2B whole stores in the country, said that the increased losses are a reflection of the company’s investments in India for long-term benefits. We continue to build capabilities for the future through investments in revamping our technology infrastructure to enhance our omnichannel capabilities and in people development,” the company said. “The increased losses during the year under review reflect the investments that we are making to drive our future growth,” it added.
The company’s total revenue increased to Rs 4,095 crore in FY19, compared to the revenue of Rs 3,686 crore in FY18. Its operating loss (EBIDTA) also widened to Rs 146.4 crore in FY 2019-20 from Rs 64.3 crore in the previous year. During the last financial year, Walmart India has set up two fulfilment centres in Lucknow and Hyderabad. The brand runs over 25 B2B wholesale stores, ‘Best Price Modern Wholesale’, in the country, besides running a membership-based programme that has over one million members.
The company had earlier stated that it wants to spend approximately USD 500 million to open another 47 stores in India by 2022. At present, Walmart India doesn’t sell directly to consumers in the country, but is an organised wholesaler or cash-and-carry operator that sells merchandise to local kirana stores, hotels and catering companies.In the online space, the parent firm Walmart owns India’s largest e-commerce platform Flipkart. It acquired 77 per cent stake in Flipkart last year in a record USD 16-billion deal.